The Quick Salicylate Reference Guide


When following the Guaifenesin Protocol, you must refrain from using any of the following ingredients in your topical products: 

  • Any plant names on their own or latin plant names except CROWS – corn, rice, oats, wheat or soy
  • Any chemical with the syllable SAL in the name (SALicylate)
  • Any chemical with MEN in the name (MENthol, MENthyl aranthinate)
  • SALicylic Acid (all other acids are fine except beta hydroxy acid which is a combination of acids including salicylic acid)
  • Oils, gels or extracts with a plant name except corn, rice, oats, wheat and soy (CROWS)
  • Any butter except Cocoa, Shea or Mango Seed
  • Tree bark extracts such as: Pycnogenol, Camphor, Bisabol, Balsam
  • Meradimate or Mexoryl found in sunscreens.  Please refer to sunscreen guide below
  • Bioflavinoids (Quercetin, Rutin, Hesperiden) in vitamins
  • Mint flavor, or Mentholatum
  • No bee products ON YOUR SKIN:  honey, propolis and bee pollen.  You can eat honey but you cannot put it on your skin

You must check anything you take as a medication, and every product that you apply to your skin. If you are doing this properly, looking things up should be minimal.

However, if you see:

  • oil, or
  • gel, or
  • extract

and you can’t identify whether it is from an animal, a plant or a mineral, you must look it up in a dictionary or on If it is a plant oil, plant gel or plant extract it will block your guaifenesin, unless it is Corn, Rice, Oats, Wheat or Soy.

Some words that may help you recognize a plant are:  leaf, flower, root, seed and stem.  Be careful if the product boasts the word “natural”.

If the word or phrase is Latin you may need to search the internet using Google (or any search engine). For example: “pinus sylvestris oil” or “melissa officinalis gel” or “nepeta cataria extract”. Be sure to enclose the entire phrase in quotation marks. The first entry will usually identify the origin. If it is a plant, it will block guaifenesin.

For medications, over-the-counter or prescription, all you need is the chemical name of the medication. It should be on the bottle. If your
medication is a generic (tramadol for Ultram, for example) that IS the chemical name. or any of the drug information websites or any pharmacist can give you the chemical name. If the compound you are checking is a salicylate, the chemical name will reflect that fact. An example is Pepto Bismol which is bismuth subSALicylate.

If you are checking an over-the-counter supplement all you need to do is ask yourself if the supplement is the name of a plant. You cannot take flaxseed or borage oil because they are plants. You can’t take ginseng or Echinacea as those are plants. You CAN take melatonin, malic acid, 5HTP, Co-Q 10 because those are not the names of a plant. You can take any vitamin or mineral (there is no plant named Vitamin A or magnesium) but you must check them for added medicinal herbs or bioflavonoids. (See above for a list).

You must make sure any product that you use in your mouth does NOT contain MINT of any kind including wintergreen, or menthol.

You may drink coffee, if you are not hypoglycemic, but Dr. St. Amand from the Fibromyalgia Treatment Center requests that we avoid drinking teas of any kind

When dealing with protein powders or other items that may contain concentrated plants be sure to look at the ingredients. If the box reads: NUTRITION FACTS you are holding a food and you can have it. If the box reads SUPPLEMENTAL FACTS you are holding a medication and you must check it against the above list as you would any other medication.


 What to AVOID: Remember no menth, sal or camph





* We cannot use camphor of any kind


6. ANTHELIOS SX — A synthetic sunscreen made and patented by L’Oreal

It contains ECAMSULE

7. HELIOPLEX — Contains HOMOSALATE and OCTISALATE — Now found in Neutrogena products

8. ALCAMFOR — The Spanish name for CAMPHOR

Other COMMON sunscreen ingredients to AVOID:

1. Castor oil (hydrogenated or not)

2. Aloe extract, oil, gel or leaf juice

3. Green tea extract, oil, gel

4. Grape seed extract, oil, gel

SAFE SUNSCREEN ingredients:

1. Zinc Oxide

2. Titanium Dioxide

3. Avobenzone

4. Octocrylene

5. Oxybenzone

6. Octinoxate

PARSOLS Explained :

1. Parsol 1789 = Avobenzone (Butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane) = SAFE

2. Parsol 340 = Octocrylene = SAFE

3. Parsol SLX = Polysilicone-15(European/hair,cosmetics,sunscreen) = SAFE

4. Parsol HMS = Homosalate – AVOID

5. Parsol EHS = Ethylhexyl Salicylate = Octisalate – AVOID


 The following products often contain salicylates so check them carefully:

  • Deodorants, especially solids and roll-ons, check for castor oil. (Most spray deodorants are fine.)
  • Acne or Oily Skin products: check especially for salicylic acid (beta hydroxy acid), menthol or witch hazel.
  • Lotions – look for aloe, plant oils such as sesame seed.
  • Hair products – look for chamomile, borage, salicylic acid, balsam.
  • Toothpaste and dental floss – make sure it doesn’t have mint flavor or menthol hidden in the flavor.  See list of exceptable toothpastes.  The Fibromyalgia Treatment Center has thoroughly done their homework and all other toothpaste not listed has mint hidden in the flavour of the toothpaste.
  • Lipsticks – look for castor oil and other plants oils.
  • Chapsticks and lip balms: check for aloe, menthol, camphor, salicylic acid.
  • Shaving creams – check especially for aloe, mint or mentholatum.
  • Razors-make sure there is no aloe strip
  • Sunscreens – check for octisalate, homosalate, meradimate, mexoryl, camphor, aloe, green tea extract and grape seed extract. (Review Sunscreen Guide Below)
  • Medicated creams, like Ben-Gay, Noxzema, Blistex: look for menthol, camphor, or methyl salicylate.
  • Hemorrhoid products: check for aloe, witch hazel or menthol.
  • If it feels cool or if it burns, it probably contains menthol–check carefully
  • Cortisone Creams, over the  counter: check for aloe
  • Gum, cough drops, hard candies–check for mint or menthol.
  • In Skin Toners check especially for witch hazel or arnica or salicylic acid.
  • Vitamin C–check for bioflavonoids, or added plants such as alfalfa, parsley or rose hips.
  • Toilet paper and kleenex may have aloe.
  • Gardening: Use waterproof gloves when gardening.  Check them periodically for holes.
  • Use gloves for chores if you use plant oils such as: Pinesol or Lemon Oil.
  • Bubble baths and shower gels: check for plant oils such sesame seed or extracts such as lavender.
  • Wart or callus removers check for salicylate, salicylic acid
  • Exfolliating gels or scrubs: check for salicylic acid